| By Phillip Steyn |
TODAY, South Africa finds itself at a crossroads. Facing country-wide power outages while sitting atop some of the world’s largest untapped oil and gas reserves, its economy, people and environment are stuck at an impasse.
In 2015, there were nearly 100 days of scheduled power reductions in the country. While the people of South Africa are beginning to learn to deal with the unfortunate reality of regularly living without electricity, and grappling with the environmental implications of more than 85 percent of state-owned Eskom Holdings’ generation capacity coming from coal-fired power plants, as a result the highest per capita greenhouse gas emissions in Africa, and with less than one percent of power supplied by true renewables primarily from hydropower, the issue is also continuing to dramatically damage the nation’s already sluggish economic progress.
Our company, Rhino Oil and Gas Exploration, is currently seeking approval to begin the initial stages of a non-invasive, 3-year evaluation process which will determine where there are domestic oil and gas resources available that might one day be able to be safely developed in order to benefit the people and economy of South Africa.
We are a technology-driven, independent oil and gas exploration and development company focused on Africa. Based in Texas, we are working with a number of partners on the ground in South Africa. We currently hold the permits and are applying for rights to two offshore areas, totaling more than 28,000 square kilometers, as well as five onshore areas, totaling nearly 74,000 square kilometers, within the country.
Rhino is also actively pursuing concessions across other parts of the continent where there are under-explored plays in basins that have proved and productive oil and gas assets. We significantly expanded our African footprint recently with the acquisition of two offshore blocks in the Comoros territorial waters off Mozambique in East Africa and the signing of Production Sharing Agreements in the AGC Senegal/Guinea-Bissau Cooperation Zone in West Africa. In addition to these positions, we hold two offshore blocks in Namibia, one of them bordering the Kudu Field.
This is an exciting time for Rhino. We strongly believe South Africa’s oil and gas resources can one day enhance prosperity for the country’s communities by helping alleviate the current, crippling national power crisis by providing a cleaner, dependable, reliable and affordable source of energy. We also are confident their development will create highly skilled technical jobs, move the country away from its dependence on coal and provide significant benefits to the nation’s communities in areas such as education and health.
While we have a long road ahead of us, the idea of safely unlocking South Africa’s lower cost domestic energy resources is on the way to becoming a reality and we are excited to be a part of the solution.
Phillip Steyn, vice president and Chief Operating Officer, Rhino Oil and Gas Exploration, is a resident of South Africa currently residing in Cape Town who has previously lived in Tanzania. He has worked and traveled extensively throughout Africa, and has more than 10 years of African business experience. An original founder of Rhino Resources, Ltd. in Africa., one of the continent’s fastest growing independent oil and gas exploration companies headquartered in Cape Town, Steyn is responsible for the company’s strategic land acquisition and high level negotiations as well as its day to day operations. He has operational experience in several African countries, concluded several successful deals for oil and gas concessions in Africa and speaks fluent Kiswahili.
— Jan 4, 2016 @ 14:55 GMT